A monumental question: How to honor today's Hawks?

Former suburban artist would like chance to add to his Hawks sculpture at United Center

  • Sculptor Erik Blome

    Sculptor Erik Blome Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographger

Posted6/8/2010 12:01 AM

Jonathan Toews with a determined look.

Patrick Kane with his mouthguard dangling.


Duncan Keith with a toothless grin.

Big Buff being ... Big Buff.

If, and it's still a big if, but if the Blackhawks capture their first Stanley Cup in 49 years, what players from the championship team should be or might be added to the Blackhawks sculpture outside the United Center?

Tough call.

But not for Erik Blome, the artist who designed and created the bronze beauty that was dedicated in October of 2000 on the site of the old Chicago Stadium on Madison. The former Barrington artist and Crystal Lake resident, who still owns his house there while teaching at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, has a simple three-word answer.

"All of them," Blome said from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he is spreading the world of art to children there while also celebrating the Hawks' current playoff run - though he's had to keep up-to-date via text messaging thanks to poor internet connectivity.

In addition to the Hawks' 75th anniversary sculpture, Blome has also done pieces on display in the Lake County Forest Preserve and at a memorial for the Cary-Fox River Grove bus/train accident victims.

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The Blackhawks statue on Madison features the image of six different players from different eras topped by a three-sided Hawks logo.

The players aren't meant to be anyone specific, although the most prominent one in the middle bears a strong resemblance to Bobby Hull.

"I was thrilled out of my mind to do the Blackhawks piece for the United Center," Blome said. "I used to attend games with my dad at the Chicago Stadium, and when Peter Wirtz showed me where the sculpture would go, I was excited to be designing a piece of history that honored the story of the team.

"That piece is like a battle monument with sticks like weapons and the feeling of aggressive teamwork. I wanted it to have that sense of excitement and character that a great hockey game always has.

"There are hints at players in the piece, but ultimately it is a feeling of the team through history, a sort of dream."

Now there's a chance more history will be made and more dreams will come true this week, and if it happens - if - Blome says there's room for everyone from this current team on the monument, and if there's not, he'll make room.


That is, if the Hawks ask him to.

"To add a new chapter and new players to my piece at the United Center would not only be amazing, it would be a landmark moment for Chicago," Blome said. "Chicago Blackhawks fans are the greatest fans anywhere in the world.

"Their spirit never dies."